Rantings and Ravings
While following up on the high school basketball teams, I have had to make several trips to the gyms on practice days. I go in the back door closest to the gyms, mainly because, like most of us, I am basically a bit lazy and it is the shortest path to where I need to go.
There is a sign on the doors warning me to check in with the office before I enter. I ignore it and head straight to the gyms. There, of course, I make my first contact with the coaches and let them know what I am up to.
The sign on the door and my ability to ignore it, always gives me a moment of thought as I leave the school. We are a bit complacent here about the reason the signs needed to be put up in the first place. I am also glad we live in a community where we have the luxury of being complacent.
This is a luxury that could disappear in a flash. Our defense against that happening is not to install metal detectors at the doors of the schools and lock them down, but to keep doing the right things in raising our kids.
Schools and parents need to be vigilant in looking for signs of bullying and harassment of kids by others. If it is your child that is bullying, you need to take responsibility and correct it.
We need to keep our children involved in activities, sports and hobbies that give them alternatives to seeking trouble.
We also need to instill a sense of hope in all children that they have an equal chance of succeeding in life, not by entitlements, but because the chances are there for them if they work hard.
We need to teach that our actions are our responsibility. Parents and teachers need to make sure we do that by making sure we always accept responsibility for our choices and not blame others. As parents we also need to make sure we make our kids own up to their mistakes and to their successes.
As a parent that can be the hardest thing we do. I often tried to "help" my kids by trying to fix things. I hoped that by seeing that they almost had to pay the price that they would learn their lesson. They usually didn't. My actions didn't help them at all.
I learned and then they learned.
I am glad we live in a community that has not experienced a tragic event. I like to believe that we have the character among us to keep it that way.
We are no better than the people who live in communities that have gone through a bad event. But in the end I hope that those us who can make a difference have paid attention to the lessons that need to be learned and taken them to heart.